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Craig Small: procps using GitLab CI

Planet Debian - Mon, 11/05/2015 - 14:26

The procps project for a few years has been hosted at Gitorious.  With the announcement that Gitorious has been acquired by GitLab and that all repositories need to move there, procps moved along to GitLab. At first I thought it would just be a like for like thing, but then I noticed that GitLab has this GitLab CI feature and had to try it out.

CI here stands for Continuous Integration and is a way of automatically testing your program builds using a bunch of test scripts.  procps already has a set of tests, with some a level of coverage that has room for improvement, so it was a good candidate to use for CI. The way GitLab works is they have a central control point that is linked to the git repo and you create runners, which are the systems that actually compile the programs and run the tests. The runners then feed back their results and GitLab CI shows it all in pretty red or green.

The first problem was building this runner.  Most of the documentation assumes you are building testing for Ruby. procps is built using C with the test scripts in TCL, so there was going to be some need to make some adjustments.  I chose to use docker containers so that there was at least some isolation between the runners and the base system.  I soon found the docker container I used (ruby:2.6 as suggested by GitLab) didn’t have autopoint which mean autogen.sh failed so I had no configure script so no joy there.

Now my second problem was I had never used docker before and beyond that it was some sort of container thing so like virtual machines lite, I didn’t know much about it. The docker docs are very good and soon I had built my own custom docker image that had all the programs I need to compile and test procps. It’s basically a cut-down Debian image with a few things like gettext-bin and dejagnu added in.

Docker is not a full system

With that all behind me and a few “oh I need that too” (don’t forget you need git) moments we had a working CI runner.  This was a Good Thing.  You then find that your assumptions for your test cases may not always be correct.  This is especially noticeable when testing something like procps which needs to work of the proc filesystem.  A good example is, what uses session ID 1?  Generally its init or systemd, but in Docker this is what everything runs as. A test case which assumes things about SID=1 will fail, as it did.

This probably won’t be a problem for testing a lot of “normal” programs that don’t need to dig a deep into the host system as procps does, but it is something to remember. The docker environment looks a lot like a real system from the inside, but there are differences, so the lesson here is to write better tests (or fix the ones that failed, like I did).

The runner and polling

Now, there needs to be communication between the CI website and the runner, so the runner knows there is something for it to do.  The gitlab runner has this setup rather well, except the runner is rather aggressive about its polling, hitting the website every 3 seconds. For someone on some crummy Australian Internet with low speeds and download quotas, this can get expensive in network resources. As there is on average an update once a week or so these seems rather excessive.

My fix is pretty manual, actually its totally manual. I stop the daemon, then if I notice there are pending jobs I start the daemon, let it do its thing, then shut it down again.  This is certainly not an optimal solution but works for now.  I will look into doing something more clever later, possibly with webhooks.

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Categories: Elsewhere

Amazee Labs: Kickstart your Career with Amazee Talents

Planet Drupal - Mon, 11/05/2015 - 14:04
Kickstart your Career with Amazee Talents

Today our Group is launching Amazee Talents, a program to win bright minds like you for a 3 month internship at Amazee Labs or Amazee Metrics.

If you have completed, or are about to complete your apprenticeship, higher education or university degree and happen to live in Switzerland, the European Union, the United States or South Africa, then read on.

We are looking for above-average talents in web development, web analytics or online marketing who love to tackle tech problems and want to join our hard working team.

Depending on the available positions and your domicile you will be assigned to an internship in Zurich (Switzerland) or Austin (Texas, USA). The Amazee Group covers all travel and accommodation cost to and at your place of work. 

So, if you want to learn from the best in the field of Drupal development or web analytics & online marketing and be part of an open and creative corporate culture, visit the Amazee Talent program on our Group website.

We are looking forward to your application (scroll down for the talent program)!

Categories: Elsewhere

Zlatan Todorić: Reboot to roots

Planet Debian - Mon, 11/05/2015 - 13:17

I am working in software development field for more then 5 years. During that period I came across of other developers which vast majority can be described as terrible people. That is what sets probably difference between hacker mind and average software engineer. People tend to think if they have position of software developer they are god-like and should be treated like that. Hackers know who they are and tend to be Socrates-wise "I know that I know nothing". As student of mechanical engineering (majoring in mechatronics) I didn't have much of programming so naturally I had some personal difficulties to grasp software field but once I got in I stopped almost totally doing my student duties as it didn't cross path with my love towards hacking.

And now after that many years in software field, in which I mostly worked as freelancer for other people and companies (where it wasn't unusual that I got hired personally by a guy who couldn't or didn't know how to finish his work, I hand the code which he would present as his own work, but I don't mind as I needed the money to get on) and my work ended as proprietary - I am just fed up with all this nonsense. Someone would think what is problem there - well for me it is, as being part of Debian and wider Free software ecosystem I know proprietary software is not fostering better society in all together so it made me a bit unhappy about it. The thing that actually is really annoying me are asshole so-called software engineers and the most - bad behavior towards users. Users should be treated as supporters of your software and if proprietary company treats their users as shit then it's obvious that they don't care for the users but rather for the money and only money. Proprietary isn't here the only bad thing, open source community has it share of terrible responses - which comes naturally if you take the sheer amount of people in open source. I for instance was called on Debian IRC a peasant and even I sheep in my early days - but Debian as all communities has its bad seeds and sometimes even non-Debianities trolls hop on our channels. I didn't let myself put down because I personally got the chance to meet many of them and they change the flow of my life at that point.

I am unhappy at the current state of things worldwide and personally but I have now made a decision that I am shifting towards being technical customer support engineer or for me better named as Happiness Hero. Why, one would ask because as software engineer you would make more? Well, firstly I don't care that much about money (or to be even more precise, as capitalism has made a sick money-grabbing society, you can never pay me enough as I am more worth then entire capitalistic system so in the end I don't care that much how I am paid) and secondly happiness hero can earn more then software engineer which latest #talkpay hashtag on Twitter showed. I have made IMHO many good pieces of code that will never be contributed as mine, but I achieved no happiness and rather achieved few months ago a rather bad burnout. My shift towards happiness hero should look like this - I am pretty well prepared technically for that position, I have experience with helping users and in general with people and I tend to be pretty good at that (but that we would need to ask them) and with part that I enjoy helping people to debug their technical problem so they can spend more time on others things (read family, creativity, hobbies) is something I believe will put me well into position to achieve happiness so I can create for myself time to finish damn faculty (where TBH professors showed that they can be one of the worst enemies of their students - and I am highly doubting in this generic way of schooling for centuries) and if I get some decent paycheck with this capitalistic system I will have a chance to sponsor a poor family that has child talented in artistic field - or to say SHARE something material for cultural and emotional gain. Take that capitalism!

And the best part, I will start to believe more in myself so I have already few offers for that kind of position but am waiting for few more and I am screening companies to find one that fits me best - shares values with mine and has a great interaction with their users. One of the companies that makes me want to screen more companies is Buffer. When you read this and this you will see their way of life and perks are really something every company should do - then you will understand why I want to give my self a chance which I believe I finally deserved. And, no, I didn't apply for Buffer as I don't use their service nor did have time to read the two books needed for applying (which I think is really a great thing to foster people into getting more knowledge). I can only wish them best luck in future.

I am currently doing one small software development thing (freelance) for next two weeks and after that I am hoping to get enough good offer to start with happiness job and retreat from software development for some good amount of time. That doesn't mean I will cease my Free software activities - on contrary I think I will have more time and even more will to work on Free software development in my spare time. So if anyone or any company that works with open source community has a position for happiness hero, get in touch with me and we will have a good talk.

End point - I want to grow and become who am I, and not who I should be according to others.

Categories: Elsewhere

Microserve: The importance of being Open

Planet Drupal - Mon, 11/05/2015 - 10:11

Many years ago I started my working life as a trainee tech journalist. Every month the magazine that I worked on was accompanied by a CD-ROM containing dozens of (mostly useless) applications for readers to install on their PCs. As the new boy on the team I remember asking what it meant that some of the products were listed as ‘open source’. “It just means that we can put them on the disc without paying anyone” came the explanation.

I didn’t think about it much at the time, but years later I’ve come to realise that for many people ‘open source’ still just means ‘free’. No doubt that’s one of the most attractive things about open source software, but it’s only half the story. As well as the software being ‘free of charge’ the source code is freely available too, allowing anyone with the right skills to use it, customise it and improve it. Any useful developments can then be donated back to the source code for everyone to benefit from, making it a virtuous circle for those involved.

One of the best ways to illustrate the importance of open source software development is to consider the history of the internet itself. From the TCP/IP protocols, to the concept of hypertext, to the LAMP stack and (some) modern browsers, the internet as we know it relies on royalty-free technologies that have been made openly available over the years for everyone’s benefit. My guess is that the early pioneers of the web weren’t aiming to become millionaires (although some consequently did), rather they wanted to use their new discoveries to make people’s lives better. In the era of internet billionaires and an obsession with intellectual property, it’s important for everyone involved in web-related industries to occasionally remind ourselves that we’re all standing on the shoulders of these altruistic giants.

So yes, open source always means ‘free’, but it means so much more besides. It means thinking about the bigger picture rather than the quick buck. It means having the courage to let other people make your ideas better. It means developing re-usable solutions and not reinventing the wheel. All of this can only lead to better software for everyone.

But why should the principles of open source only apply to software development? If the principles work, then why couldn’t they be applied to other disciplines? When I look at the briefs that land on my desk, I see clients asking for solutions to the same types of problems again and again, which makes me think: “wouldn’t it be great if ‘open UX design’ was a thing, or ‘open business analysis’?” Organisations always think they are unique, but their requirements are often almost identical to others in the same sector.

I recently pitched to rebuild the website of a major county council, which had already done a superb job on the UX and design phase of the project, producing some very focused wireframes and prototypes. Since this great work was funded by public money, it feels right that the documentation could be made publicly available, and potentially save other local councils from spending tens of thousands of pounds to reach similar (probably worse) solutions.

I’m not suggesting one-size-fits-all solutions, rather solutions that can be adapted for each instance and which evolve as we collectively learn more about what works and what doesn’t. By sharing and collaborating more openly the evolution of ‘best practice’ will accelerate, which will benefit everyone as ever-more smart and effective solutions emerge.

And after open UX design, why not open hardware design? Or open pharmaceutical development? Or open product design? I’m pretty sure that ‘open’ movements are happening in all these industries to some extent, but it would great to see them reaching a critical mass and getting a higher profile. Maybe there will come a time when the the Dragons on 'Dragons’ Den' don’t ask “do you own the patent?” but “will you open-source it?”. The benefits for society would be huge.

At Microserve we use Drupal CMS and are very proud to be heavily involved in the Drupal community. Our developers make frequent contributions to the open source project, and we also contribute financially, attend events and are co-organising DrupalCamp Bristol 2015 (buy your tickets now). It’s our way of giving something back to the open-source movement, which has gifted us and millions of others a great way of earning a living. We hope, in our own small way, that we’re making the web, and the world, a better place.

Dan McNamara
Categories: Elsewhere

Microserve: The importance of being Open

Planet Drupal - Mon, 11/05/2015 - 10:11
The importance of being OpenMonday, May 11, 2015 - 09:11

Many years ago I started my working life as a trainee tech journalist. Every month the magazine that I worked on was accompanied by a CD-ROM containing dozens of (mostly useless) applications for readers to install on their PCs. As the new boy on the team I remember asking what it meant that some of the products were listed as ‘open source’. “It just means that we can put them on the disc without paying anyone” came the explanation.

I didn’t think about it much at the time, but years later I’ve come to realise that for many people ‘open source’ still just means ‘free’. No doubt that’s one of the most attractive things about open source software, but it’s only half the story. As well as the software being ‘free of charge’ the source code is freely available too, allowing anyone with the right skills to use it, customise it and improve it. Any useful developments can then be donated back to the source code for everyone to benefit from, making it a virtuous circle for those involved.

One of the best ways to illustrate the importance of open source software development is to consider the history of the internet itself. From the TCP/IP protocols, to the concept of hypertext, to the LAMP stack and (some) modern browsers, the internet as we know it relies on royalty-free technologies that have been made openly available over the years for everyone’s benefit. My guess is that the early pioneers of the web weren’t aiming to become millionaires (although some consequently did), rather they wanted to use their new discoveries to make people’s lives better. In the era of internet billionaires and an obsession with intellectual property, it’s important for everyone involved in web-related industries to occasionally remind ourselves that we’re all standing on the shoulders of these altruistic giants.

So yes, open source always means ‘free’, but it means so much more besides. It means thinking about the bigger picture rather than the quick buck. It means having the courage to let other people make your ideas better. It means developing re-usable solutions and not reinventing the wheel. All of this can only lead to better software for everyone.

But why should the principles of open source only apply to software development? If the principles work, then why couldn’t they be applied to other disciplines? When I look at the briefs that land on my desk, I see clients asking for solutions to the same types of problems again and again, which makes me think: “wouldn’t it be great if ‘open UX design’ was a thing, or ‘open business analysis’?” Organisations always think they are unique, but their requirements are often almost identical to others in the same sector.

I recently pitched to rebuild the website of a major county council, which had already done a superb job on the UX and design phase of the project, producing some very focused wireframes and prototypes. Since this great work was funded by public money, it feels right that the documentation could be made publicly available, and potentially save other local councils from spending tens of thousands of pounds to reach similar (probably worse) solutions.

I’m not suggesting one-size-fits-all solutions, rather solutions that can be adapted for each instance and which evolve as we collectively learn more about what works and what doesn’t. By sharing and collaborating more openly the evolution of ‘best practice’ will accelerate, which will benefit everyone as ever-more smart and effective solutions emerge.

And after open UX design, why not open hardware design? Or open pharmaceutical development? Or open product design? I’m pretty sure that ‘open’ movements are happening in all these industries to some extent, but it would great to see them reaching a critical mass and getting a higher profile. Maybe there will come a time when the the Dragons on 'Dragons’ Den' don’t ask “do you own the patent?” but “will you open-source it?”. The benefits for society would be huge.

At Microserve we use Drupal CMS and are very proud to be heavily involved in the Drupal community. Our developers make frequent contributions to the open source project, and we also contribute financially, attend events and are co-organising DrupalCamp Bristol 2015 (buy your tickets now). It’s our way of giving something back to the open-source movement, which has gifted us and millions of others a great way of earning a living. We hope, in our own small way, that we’re making the web, and the world, a better place.

Dan McNamara Main Image: 
Categories: Elsewhere

Propeople Blog: FFW: Our New Digital Agency

Planet Drupal - Mon, 11/05/2015 - 08:18

Today, I am excited to introduce you to our new digital agency: FFW. Over the past several months, we have been working at Blink Reaction and Propeople to bring the two agencies together under a single unified brand. Through the process, we have reflected on the great successes achieved by the individual agencies throughout our histories. But more importantly, we have come together to define the core vision that will drive our new joint agency into the future.

FFW is a global digital agency built on technology, driven by data, and focused on user experience. We bring together 420 people working across 19 offices in 11 countries, to form a new agency that is a part of the Intellecta Group (listed on the NASDAQ OMX).

We find ourselves in a unique position in the digital agency marketplace as recognized technology experts that also excel in data-driven digital strategy and creative work.

No other agency understands the intersection of technology, strategy and creativity as well as we do.

We are excited to begin a whole new chapter together as FFW. It is a bittersweet moment, as the individual stories of Blink Reaction and Propeople come to an end, but I absolutely can’t wait to see what the future holds for our new agency.

Tags: FFWdigital agencyCheck this option to include this post in Planet Drupal aggregator: planetTopics: Business & Strategy
Categories: Elsewhere

DrupalCon News: Registration is Open! Come on By!

Planet Drupal - Mon, 11/05/2015 - 00:13

Registration is officially open!  We will be at the Los Angeles Convention Center until 6:00pm today and will open tomorrow 7:00am!

When you walk down South Figueroa street, you will turn right on 12th Avenue to the entrance of the West Hall Lobby.  It should look like this:

As you get closer you will see the blue carpet, your official cue that you have arrived at DrupalCon Los Angeles!  Welcome!  Enter the doors and we will see you at registration.

Categories: Elsewhere

Harry Slaughter: Dang, it happened to me!

Planet Drupal - Sun, 10/05/2015 - 21:40

After using the new gmail 'tabs' for a while, I began just ignoring anything not in the primary tab. It turns out, this included notifications from Godaddy regarding domain renewals. I neglected to renew devbee.com, and as sure as the sun rises, it got scooped up immediately by a ... person.

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Categories: Elsewhere

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